July 4th

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall Treat Time!

     I just love fall. Our temps just went from 100 degrees to 67 degrees in less than one week. Talk about Heaven!! The cool temps have prompted me to open the windows, cook a big ol' pot of chili and to start my baking! Nothing says fall like spiced pumpkin. I love the smell that fills my house when I bake with these ingredients. So warm and comforting. 

     While shopping at The Fresh Market a few days ago, my son picked up a box of chocolate whoopie pies. I've heard of them but had never eaten one. These were pretty good but I knew I could make them better at home. I decided to do a trial run of these fall treats today! My taste testers agreed...heaven in our mouth!!! I have a feeling I'll be making plenty of these little treats this fall! I hope you all try them too!


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger or 1 tablespoon ground candied ginger
1 tablespoon cloves
2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups pumpkin puree (do not use pumpkin pie mix)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon pure maple extract (I use Mapleine)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the brown sugar and oil together until combined. Add the pumpkin puree and mix to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until completely combined.
Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1-inch apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cookie comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes and then cool completely on wire rack.
Sift confectioners sugar into a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until it is completely smooth.
Add confectioners sugar, cinnamon and maple extract and beat until smooth.
Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down, flat side facing up.
Use a piping bag with the end trimmed off or a tablespoon drop a large dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookie. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all cookies are used. Place whoopie pies into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up before serving.

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